Australia’s Minister for Regional Services Senator Bridget McKenzie has announced A$10 million in additional funding to secure the Viewer Access Satellite Television Service (VAST) for regional Australians until 2021.
VAST provides commercial and national television services free-to-air to around 500,000 Australian viewers in regional Australia, including 30,000 travellers.
“Many Australians living in our regions rely on this service, and the Government’s investment will provide the peace of mind that their service will continue,” McKenzie said. “Television is a vital entertainment and information service that all Australians should have access to. VAST ensures that regional Australians can receive reliable free-to-air television broadcasts so that we can all share and participate in cultural, education and social experiences.”
The VAST service also covers some metropolitan areas where terrestrial transmission services are not able to be economically provided by broadcasters.
The Government has also released the 2018 review of the VAST service, which includes the key recommendation that the service should continue to be provided through the current satellite delivery model.
VAST has been operating since 2010, as part of the national switchover to digital television. The $10 million in additional funding will add to more than $127 million in funding committed to the service since 2010. VAST is also supported by contributions from broadcasters.